Monday, January 9, 2012

Lucia Dave Armstrong uses the word "breeders"

I was disgusted to see that in today's Dominion Post opinion item, Dave Armstrong used the word "breeders" when referring to parents of children. As I have said before, this is an offensive term with negative connotation, equating the procreation of human beings to that of animals. This word should not be used in polite company, and should certainly not be used by a reputable newspaper.

Here is what Armstrong said in What's in a Kiwi name? A lack of imagination:
I think the latest names show a distinct lack of imagination on the part of our breeders.
Thus linking back to his title and the point of his article.

Recently I also discovered that "breeders" is homosexual slang for parents. Just like the word "poofter" is derogatory towards homosexuals, so is "breeders" derogatory towards heteroseuxals. Here is the definition of "breeder" from the Urban Dictionary:
1: slang term used by some childfree people for one who has a child and/or has many after that, refuses to discipline the child/ren, thinks the sun rises and sets for their child/ren, look down upon people who do not have children, and are in general very selfish and greedy when it comes to their whims and those of their child/ren, especially if they can use their parenthood status or their children as an excuse to get their way. A female breeder is commonly called a moo, and a male breeder a duh.
2: slang term used by people of homosexual persuasion to refer to heterosexual couples, who have a significantly higher risk of contributing to the population increase than the homosexuals do.
"Can you believe the nerve of those breeders? They come in to a nice restaurant and proceed to sit by and watch while their progeny shriek and run all over the place, and then let the children make a huge mess and do not even tip the waitstaff. Disgusting..."

I have left the following message in the comments for the article. I wonder if the moderator will let it through?
The word "breeders" is a derogatory term typically used by homosexuals towards heterosexual parents. It implies that parents are animals. I am surprised and disgusted that there is now an attempt to mainstream this word through the paper.

There will be those who think this post is an extreme reaction to a seemingly minor word. However, if you see my previous post on this subject, you'll see the words people use affect how they think about certain things. Just as in Sweden the word that was used for housewife changed the Swedes view of women who stayed home to look after their families from something that was considered a positive and honourable thing to do to something that was not so positive - just by changing one itty bitty word!

If it becomes common practice to refer to parents as "breeders", then the idea of becoming parents will be considered to be something that is less than desirable. I mean, who wants to be a "breeder"? That's what you do with rabbits or dogs, not human beings. And therefore in a world in which it is already difficult to raise children successfully, those who are more likely to be able to do so well will be less inclined than they are now. Leaving our future more and more in the hands of the feral underclass who use their children as meal tickets and don't care what any one thinks of them.

Related link: Why are baby names so boring (renamed from What's in a Kiwi name? A lack of imagination

Previous blog post on the word "breeders": Human Breeders

7 comment(s):

XChequer said...

Lucia,

While I respect your right to get upset (why, when I start a sentence that way, do I feel like I'm in a Monty Python film?), don't you think that perhaps there may be bigger issues than this to loose your outrage on?

I hardly think that one word among a thousand is indicative of a general, moral decline on the cataclysmic scale you write about.

And while you do try and forestall my argument with a proviso, it doesn't make it any more valid. Given the numbers of gay people in the world (or even a ratio for that matter!) then take the numbers of that small group who refer to sane, hetero people like us as "breeders" (yes, I'm proud to say I am!) and then take that even smaller number there and take the number of "breeder"-referring, gay people who use the word in a malicious sense (as indicated in the completely objective, non-biased and non-slanted example you posted above about messy progeny and their lack of tipping) and then we end up with a truly small number!

Then we lump John Armstrong in with them in an active attempt to break the family unit and therefore destabilise the Western World through a pervasive campaign to eat our moral soul from within.

The scope of this outrage is boggling. I hope Dave appreciates the amount of genuine hand-wringing that the use of this word, in that context he has, caused.

Or we could look at the fact that the word he used is right in every sense, including all non-inflammatory ways, that apply to 99.9% of the population who aren't seedy-minded, potty-mouthed, Armageddon-seeking gays.

Just saying, is all.

:-)

Andrei said...

XChecker

It is my opinion that we live in a culture that has lost its way with respect to the fundamental importance to society of producing children.

Instead of holding in honor those who are producing the real wealth for the future - the children who will carry on from us, we are tempted to treat that activity with scorn.

It is uncool to drive around in a battered Mitsubishi chariot with a tribe of kids (often described as "rugrats or anklebiters".

"Breeders" in this context would seem to be a minimization of parenthood, particularly motherhood.

Personally I don't get too upset - people who do not appreciate those who raise children are just dolts IMHO

ZenTiger said...

I hardly think that one word among a thousand is indicative of a general, moral decline on the cataclysmic scale you write about.

Death by a thousand cuts.

Breeders is clearly meant as a derogatory term. Bringing it into everyday language, as evidenced by Dave Armstrong using it demonstrates that its working.

If you really must look for the bigger picture, because specific examples don't count to you, then look at the way journalists and others increasingly use language to malign the group they wish to target as part of the process of "making their argument". A combination of emotive labels and one or two "reasons" fill out their opinion pieces.

George Orwell seemed to think a few well chosen words among thousands could actually make a difference too.

Death by a thousand cuts, or slow boiled frogs. Either way, you've taken the bait hook, line and sinker XChequer.

XChequer said...

Gee, thanks for the vote in my ability to hold some form of intellectual objectivism within the bounds of my (apparently) obviously limited psyche, Zen. Mind you, its probably fair for me to come in for a bit of stick as my post was a bit mocking and for that I do apologise to you, Lucia.

The "Death by a thousand cuts" argument is fantastic and to further go with the Orwellian theme, we could add the following:

"Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen." (The Freedom Defence Committee in "The Socialist Leader (18 September 1948).

However, a couple of points:

You said ".......journalists and others increasingly use language to malign the group they wish to target as part of the process of "making their argument".

Is Dave an example of this, because nothing in his past writings seems to gel with this theory. If anything at all, one would think of him as a moderate conservative (IMHO and I could be completely wrong) judging by the general tone of past pieces and given his age, I wouldn't have thought that he would
be in the demographic of young, bleeding-heart liberals.

As to cumulative erosion on mainstream morals, you say that its a definitive example of the same while I say that its a one off. The Urban Dictionary Lucia referred to is something that is at the extremes of society - not everyone uses all those words, not even some of the time! Add to that, one needs to have some agenda in mind while using the words to validate this horrendously criminal case of loose vocabulaic morality.

I invite you to consider that Dave's use of the word is a tongue in cheek reference to people who just like looney names and not the "Classics" (of which my name is one i.e Matt, Mark, Luke and John), that in fact this is society, and by implication language, evolving rather than eroding. I'm just asking you to consider that this may not be an attempt to replace the Ten Commandments as the basis for common law and morality with some pinko, alternative, liberal simulcrum.

I'll leave you with this quote from Orwell since we're having a George Orwell Day which, cuts as much your way as it does mine but as such, fits rather well, I think you'll agree:

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."

Original preface to Animal Farm; as published in George Orwell : Some Materials for a Bibliography (1953) by Ian R. Willison

XChequer said...

Nice post, Andrei

ZenTiger said...

Hi XChequer. I most certainly think Dave Armstrong used the term a little tongue in cheek. He doesn't fit "the profile". That was my point - how words make it into more common usage but carry the implications with it.

Gee, thanks for the vote in my ability to hold some form of intellectual objectivism

Nice to have a commenter with a bit of a sense of humour.

And yes, if liberty means anything at all, it means we can both exchange comments on this blog.

If property rights mean anything at all...ah, but that's for another commenter.

I'm just asking you to consider that this may not be an attempt to replace the Ten Commandments as the basis for common law and morality with some pinko, alternative, liberal simulcrum.

It's like you are psychic or something. How did you do that? That was exactly what I was..Hey, what card am I holding up? If you said "Christmas" that would really bend my spoon.

XChequer said...

lol

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